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Cedenco Foods is Hawke’s Bay Exporter of the Year

EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00am, Friday 3 August 2018

An impressive commitment to product development and innovation has seen fruit and vegetable manufacturer Cedenco Foods New Zealand named as ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay ASB Exporter of the Year.

The Gisborne-based business was presented with the award by the Head of Trade Finance at ASB Bank, Mike Atkins, at the sold-out awards dinner last night at the Napier Conference Centre. Earlier in the evening, Cedenco had won the inaugural T&G Global Best Medium to Large ExporterAward.

The judges said Cedenco impressedthem with their investment in market research, customer relationships, and R&D to get their product right for the customer.

"We liked the level of engagement across the wider team in developing the company vision, and the continuous improvement and commitment to innovation was genuinely impressive. The factory was well laid out and the effort that was put into health and safety stood out."

Winner of the Tomoana Food Hub Innovation in Export Award was Hawke’s Bay’s Rock-it Boards, with the judges describing the business as one of the "unexpected highlights" of the awards. The Haumoana-based business, owned by Dave and Annie Evans, makes a wooden rocking board to improve strength and balance for all ages. The judges said the visit to the business was both thought-provoking and delightful.

"The simplicity of the design, coupled with the appeal of the product and the way in which the production process was being continuously improved, intrigued and impressed us - and it is not often that we get to see a category of product being invented."

The winner of the ContainerCo Emerging Exporter wasWoodcut Tools, which stood out for its "relentless customer focus". The Napier company makes tools for wood turners. The judges liked the attention to detail in the business and the opportunity for growth.

"Little things impressed, like the pictures of key customers on the wall chart. And the product itself is clearly competitive at the top-end of a growing global market. While this company is small, it is one with the underpinnings to support sustained success."

The Judges’ Choice Award was won by First Fresh. The judges said the Gisborne company was "snapping on the heels of the winner in their category".

"We liked their focus on niche markets, with absolute clarity about how to prioritise markets for entry, and their investment in understanding their customers’ customers, all stood out as praiseworthy - we hope they will enter again."

A new category for 2018, the Unsung Heroes Award, aimed at recognising the hard work put in behind the scenes of exporting organisations was shared by three people:

- Kellie Millar, Sales Co-Ordinator, Future Products Group

- Steve Young, Business Development Manager, Napier Port

- Mairead Hart, Finance Manager, Pultron Composites.

T&G Global’s CEO Gareth Edgecombe presented the Unsung Hero’s Awards and the Best Medium to Large Exporter Award.

"It was a true pleasure to present awards to Kellie, Steve and Mairead as acknowledgment of all they’re doing behind the scenes to contribute to the growth of their employing companies and the subsequent success of the wider region.

"Well done also to Cedenco for winning the T&G Global Best Medium to Large Exporter Award and the overall title, Hawke’s Bay Exporter of the Year. As a major exporter, we understand the complexities of delivering products on time and in optimum condition and the challenges and opportunities exporting presents. Congratulations to not only the winners but all entrants for growing the Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand economies."

Summing up the evening, ASB’s Mike Atkins said the calibre of finalists had been exceptional across a range of industries.

"ASB is in its fourth year of sponsoring the ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Awards, and every year the bar is set higher. New Zealand companies do an amazing job of excelling on the world stage and this year’s winners really highlight that. We’re incredibly proud to play a role in helping Kiwi companies to progress and succeed, and it’s always inspiring to hear from some of our top regional companies. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the hard work and achievements of the export sector so congratulations again to all of this year’s winners."

ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Executive Officer Amanda Liddle said she was thrilled to see the success of Gisborne companies at the awards with this year being the first time they had been extended to the Gisborne Tairawhiti region. Ms Liddle said she hoped the move would encourage continuous improvement among exporters across both regions.

"I want to congratulate the winners and finalists for having the courage to believe in themselves and their teams, and we would encourage you to enter again next year."

Ms Liddle acknowledged the support of all the sponsors, including ASB, T&G Global, NZTE, Great Things Grow Here, Napier City Council, Jetstar, Grundy Productions, Trinity Hill, Te Mata Estate, OPure, Business Hawke’s Bay and Panoply.

The Chief Executive of Business Central, John Milford, said he was very impressed by the quality of the candidates.

"Exporters are vital to the life-blood of Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand and this year’s awards reconfirm the quality that exists in the region.

"Proof of that is that a Gisborne company has taken the top award in the first year they could enter.

"I would like to thank the team of ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay for running such an excellent event."


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